Signs and Symptoms of Dead Cell Phone Batteries

By Amy McClain

Cell phones can be basic or complex, cheap or costly, but they all have one thing in common: batteries. Most cell phones utilize rechargeable, lithium ion batteries which are found in many portable consumer electronics. These types of batteries are an improvement over the older nickel cadmium types. However, they are not without issues. Cell phone batteries can go bad due to a number of factors.

No Power

One sign of a failing battery is no power, i.e., the phone does not light up or make any sounds. If your phone's indicator lights and back lit keypad are working, or you can hear keypad beeps or alerts, it is likely that the issue is not related to your battery. Troubleshoot this issue by charging your phone for the recommended period of time from a reliable outlet and charger. Try removing the battery from the phone. Ensure the contacts on the battery and the phone are clean and not bent or damaged. Clean any dirty contacts with a pencil eraser. After replacing your battery, hold the "Power" button down for several seconds before releasing it. If your phone still has no indicator lights, sound or power, it is possible that the battery is no longer good.

Power with Charger Only

When a cell phone only powers on when it is plugged into a power source, this can be another sign that the battery is no longer functioning. Typically, this indicates the battery in the phone is not charging, and the phone is only able to power up because it is utilizing power directly from the charging source. Try removing the battery after you have unplugged your phone from the charger. Reinsert it and hold the "Power" button down for a few seconds. If nothing happens, it's probably time to purchase a new battery.

Short Charge

All cell phones have some method of indicating when the charging is complete and the battery is at full capacity. If your phone shows this but dies much sooner than normal, it is possible that you need a new battery. Weak signal strength, excessive use, long phone calls or playing games can all greatly impact battery life. Additionally, batteries tend to lose some of their power over time. A battery that is several years old will not hold a charge as long as it did when it was first purchased. This is normal. Consider these factors; but if none of them applies and you aren't getting much time out of your phone's battery, it may be failing.